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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  August 28, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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good night. >> pelley: tonight, the president pays tribute to a king as he plans war on a dictator. >> in the face of impossible odds people who love their country can change it. >> pelley: jeff pegues on the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. david martin and holly williams on the countdown to an attack on syria. scientists discover a brain protein that improves memory. dr. jon lapook has the study. a cbs news poll out tonight reveals how much america is changing on race. and memories of the march from the foot soldiers who were there. icons of civil rights on what is left to be done. >> the future is in your hands, in your heart, in your mind. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley reporting
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tonight from washington. ing tonight from wash >> pelley: good evening. today the president commemorated one momentous event-- the march on washington-- as he contemplated another: a possible military strike on syria. we're going to start tonight with the 50th anniversary of the march and dr. martin luther king's i have a dream speech. president obama stood as dr. king did at the lincoln memorial and addressed a crowd of thousands gathered on the national mall. he paid tribute to those who had marched a half century earlier demanding jobs and freedom. >> on the battlefield of justice men and women without rank or wealth or title or fame would liberate us all in ways that our children now take for granted. as people of all colors and creeds live together and learn together and walk together and fight alongside one another and
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love one another and judge one another by the content of our character in this greatest nation on earth. >> pelley: the president had warned yesterday that his speech would not be as good as dr. king's, which is considered by many to be among the best political speeches of all time. jeff pegues was in the crowd for us today. >> reporter: a crowd of tens of thousands pressed up against barricades on the national mall. young and old arrived from across the country to join a celebration half a century in the making. edith hill cannon grew up in the '60s in mississippi. >> as much as my parents tried to protect me, you couldn't escape discrimination. >> reporter: do you ever forget the discrimination? >> uh-huh. no. >> reporter: she listened to a who's who of celebrities and politicians including the daughters of two presidents, lynda johnson robb and caroline kennedy and two former presidents, jimmy carter and bill clinton.
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>> this march and that speech changed america. they opened minds, they melted hearts and they moved millions. >> reporter: the event included a recreation of the 1963 march through the streets of washington that ended at the lincoln memorial. setting up a nearly five-hour program under cloudy skies and periodic rain. congressman john lewis returned today, the only speaker here to share the stage in 1963 with dr. king. >> this moment in our history has been a long time coming but a change has come. >> reporter: bill tate says he was here, too, 50 years ago. that day when dr. king made that speech, what were you thinking then? >> i knew we were in a moment of history. you look around and you're saying this is history. >> from every mountainside let freedom ring! >> reporter: dr. king's message
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echoed across washington once again today with the ringing of bells at 3:00 p.m.-- 50 years to the hour of his historic speech. and, scott, the bell that was rung here today came from the 16th street baptist church in birmingham, alabama. two weeks after dr. king delivered his speech here, the klan bombed that church, killing four african american girls. the bell is a symbol of the triumph over racism. >> pelley: jeff, thanks very much. after dr. king's speech, nothing was really ever the same. within months, the civil rights act was passed, followed the next year by the voting rights act. king won the nobel peace prize in '64. he was assassinated in '68. as president obama praised peace today, he also prepared for war. the pentagon is awaiting the president's order to retaliate against the syrian dictatorship for what the u.s. says was a poison gas attack on syrian civilians.
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the president talked about his plan this evening in an interview with the pbs newshour. >> if we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we sent a shot across the bow saying "stop doing this" that can have a positive affect on our national security over the long term and may have a positive impact on the sense that chemical weapons are not used again on innocent civilians. >> pelley: the chemical weapons attack killed more than 300 people last week, mostly women and children. the syrian dictatorship has been fighting a popular rebellion for two years. david martin has the latest developments. >> reporter: one week after hundreds of people were killed, u.s. navy warships went into a holding pattern in the eastern mediterranean as the politics and diplomacy of a cruise missile strike grew more complicated. in london, prime minister david cameron submitted a motion to
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parliament that would require the u.n. chemical weapons experts currently in syria to complete their work before any vote authorizing british forces to take part in a strike. at the state department, however, spokeswoman marie harf said the u.s. doesn't intend to wait that long. >> we are making our own decisions on our own timeline and we believe that the u.n. inspection has passed the point where it can be credible. >> reporter: two submarines-- one american, one british-- are in the eastern mediterranean along with four american destroyers and a fifth on the way, all armed with cruise missiles. that's more than enough firepower for a strike pentagon officials say would be limited to less than 50 targets. but quick strikes rarely solve america's problems. in 1986, the u.s. bombed libya in retaliation for terrorist attacks against americans. two years later, a suitcase bomb planted by libyan agents brought down pan am flight 103. after the bombings of two u.s.
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embassies in africa in 1998, the u.s. launched cruise missiles at an al qaeda camp in afghanistan. that did not stop osama bin laden from ordering the 9/11 attacks. a strike against syria would be designed to convince its dictator, bashar al-assad, not to use chemical weapons again but air strikes never succeeded in changing the behavior of another middle east dictator, iraq's saddam hussein, until he was finally captured and hanged. >> pelley: david martin at the pentagon. david, thank you. at least 100,000 people have been killed in the syrian war, but many, many more are refugees. holly williams is on the syrian border with turkey. >> reporter: for two years, syrians have been fleeing their country. two million people have been driven out by a grueling civil war. the aladekany family crossed into turkey today after government soldiers shelled their town in idlib province in northern syria.
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>> reporter: the father told us they've sought >> reporter: the father told us they've sought refuge in turkey twice before and have then gone back home, hoping things would improve. are you frightened for your family? family? >> yes, of course, i am afraid. i'm afraid for my baby >> reporter: he told us he'd welcome u.s. strikes against the regime of syrian president bashar al-assad. president bashar al-assad. ask >> reporter: but as the u.s. weighs its military options against syria, united nations weapons inspectors are still in damascus investigating last week's alleged chemical strike. after coming under sniper fire on monday. their convoy traveled with heavy security, provided by opposition forces. today, they took more blood and tissue samples from victims of
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last week's attack. they'll need at least another two days to finish their work. the u.n. envoy to syria, lakhdar brahimi said today that some sort of substance seems to have been used in last week's attack, but, scott, he also warned that under international law any kind of military response should be approved by the u.n. security council. >> pelley: which doesn't seem likely given russia's veto on the council and its friendship with syria. holly, thanks very much. in texas today, a military jury sentenced army major nidal hasan to death for the deadliest terror attack in the united states since 9/11. the 2009 massacre at fort hood. hasan showed no emotion at the jury's verdict. he shot 13 fellow solders to death and wounded more than 30 others. acting as his own attorney, hasan confessed and offered no defense. he said that he was motivated to protect muslims who were
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fighting the united states in iraq and afghanistan. scientists identify a major cause of memory loss in seniors. the ferocious fire in yosemite chokes the sky over reno. and we'll talk to three icons of the civil rights movement about dr. king's dream when the "cbs evening news" continues. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and 9 grams of protein. [ bottle ] ensure®. nutrition in charge™.
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>> pelley: the anniversary today of dr. king's speech is an opportunity to assess the state of his dream. in a new cbs news poll, 73% of americans told us there has been a lot of progress in ending discrimination. but our poll also found a sharp difference in perception. while 40% of blacks said there is still a lot of discrimination today against african americans, only 15% of whites see it that way. bill whitaker brought us a story today that helps illustrate this racial divide. >> reporter: dr. clifford hancock and dr. dennis noesen are ob-gyn's at long beach memorial in california. they met as medical residents 35 years ago and have been best friends ever since. >> there was just a good camaraderie. >> reporter: but i would bet that people watching from outside see you sitting side by side and see a black man and a white man. >> i see dennis as a friend.
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>> despite having come from very different family circumstances, how much more alike we are than different. >> reporter: dr. hancock grew up in predominantly black and poor east st. louis, illinois. dr. noesen in a sunny southern california suburb. >> i think there was one black student. so it was not a very diverse circumstance. >> reporter: today, they say they're living the american dream. it's dr. king's dream that's unfulfilled. >> when i first went into practice i would -- sometimes patients would come and they'd see me and say "where's the doctor?" i'd say "i'm the doctor." (laughs) "you're dr. hancock?" "yeah, i'm dr. hancock." "you know, i think left something out in the car, i'm going to go out there and get it, i'll be back." then they'd leave. >> reporter: that past touches the present. >> i have two sons and i always tell them, i says just be careful what you do.
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>> reporter: why? >> because i think they have a target on their back. i've been stopped before by the police in a suit and a nice car. >> reporter: but dr. noesen's son tyler proved the true strength of this friendship. >> his son passed recently from pancreatic cancer at a very young age. >> nothing could be worse. it wasn't something that i could share with everyone. and it was just the most supportive person you can imagine. >> reporter: what did you learn about your friend through that ordeal? >> that he's a damn good friend. >> reporter: this, they say, is what dr. king's dream looks like. bill whitaker, cbs news, long beach, california.
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>> pelley: in northern california, higher humidity is helping firefighters battle that wildfire at yosemite national park. the rim fire, now in its 12th day, is nearly a quarter contained. it's burned 293 square miles and more than 100 homes and other structures. smoke from the fire has filled the sky over reno, nevada, more than 150 miles away. scientists have found a new clue on what causes memory loss in older people. we'll have that story next. not easy to find, but worth it. we, but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that on! symbicort is for copd
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>> pelley: the most common form of memory loss is not alzehimer's disease, it's something called age-related memory loss, responsible for those "senior moments." well, today, scientists identified a possible therapy. dr. jon lapook told us this story was a must-do. >> highlighted in blue i've demarcated the hippocampus. so it's involved in learning and memory. >> for the first time, researchers have found a particular protein in the hippocampus of the brain seems to be involved in normal age- related memory decline. neurologist dr. scott small is part of a team of researchers at columbia university medical center. >> this really reinforces the idea that alzehimer's disease
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and aging are mechanistically distinct. and i think that's quite important. >> reporter: the researchers found the amount of the protein called r.b.a.p.-48 declines with age in human and mice brains. then they disexexperiments in mice to see about blocking the protein. >> mice have a hippocampus that's similar to ours. it's quite remarkable. it's humbling. >> reporter: when the proteins in the brain of healthy young mice was blocked the animal started having memory loss. when the protein was reactivated their memory returned to normal. in another experiment, levels of the protein in the brains of elderly mice were raised. the results caught the researchers by surprise. >> quite remarkably, i should say, we reverse or we improve memory and now this older mouse is performing almost just as well cognitively as a younger mouse. >> reporter: scott, people may joke about senior moments, but underneath that is often real concern. even if it's not alzheimer's-- and usually it is not-- subtle memory problems can affect our function and be very upsetting. so the discovery that we might actually be able to do something about it is very compelling. >> pelley: dr. jon lapook,
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thanks, doc. another group of scientists said today they've used stem cells to create pea-sized mini brains. the so-called cerebral organoids don't come close to matching the real thing but it's the first time researchers have managed to replicate the development of brain tissue in three dimensions. they're hoping this might lead to new understanding of schizophrenia and autism. how far has america come in 50 years since the march? we'll talk to civil rights leaders who were there in just a moment. caused by acid reflux disease, relief is at hand. for many, nexium provides 24-hour heartburn relief and may be available for just $18 a month. there is risk of bone fracture and low magnesium levels. side effects may include headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. if you have persistent diarrhea, contact your doctor right away. other serious stomach conditions may exist.
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span. next on kpix 5 news weather talent appears at wx center with generic pinpoint filling monitor then we take special >> i have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. we hold these truths to be self- evident that all men are created equal. (applause) >> pelley: the lincoln memorial 50 years ago today. dr. martin luther king put the finishing touches on that speech at the willard hotel here in washington and that is where we sat down with three civil rights leaders, marion wright edelman, president of the children's defense fund, andrew young, the
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former mayor of atlanta, and former georgia state legislator julian bond. all of them were part of the march on washington. >> when the trains started unloading from the south and train load from philadelphia and then the movie stars flew in, then i realized that this was really something big. >> pelley: on that day, what did you think would be achieved by the march on washington? what could be accomplished? >> in dr. king's speech and in the speeches of the other people, we had explained here are the problems we're facing, these are the reasons why we're here, we're marching, we're protesting, we're sitting in. we've had several years of disruption around the country and we've shown you about it, now do something about it. >> the southern christian leadership conference and martin luther king set out to redeem the soul of america from the triple evils of racism, war, and poverty. now, i think we've made enormous progress on legal racism.
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we've made progress on war. but we have retrogressed on poverty. >> i am so worried about this country moving backwards. a child is dropping out of school every eight seconds, 60% of all of your children cannot read and compute at grade level you are not going to be a strong competitive nation and we need to just see the growing gap between the poor and the rich and wealth and income inequality at an unprecedented stage. and poor children are everywhere. >> pelley: for decades, cbs news has been polling americans about their views on race and we have a brand-new poll on this subject. we asked whether there is real hope of ending racial discrimination. in this new poll, it's 52%. the very first time there's ever been a majority saying that racial discrimination in our country could end. why is that happening? >> because it's happening. (laughs)
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i mean, the truth of it is university of georgia elected a black student government president, as did university of alabama a few years ago. >> and mississippi. >> and mississippi state. to me the hope of dealing with racism is in the south because we've been struggling with it for several hundred years and we really are making progress. >> pelley: we have a photograph of a young julian bond and a young marian wright in the crowd. what's happening in that moment? >> we are singing. ♪ we shall overcome someday ♪ oh, deep in my heart i do believe we shall overcome someday ♪ >> "we shall overcome" had become the anthem of the civil rights movement. people are leaving, going home and we're standing there hand in hand singing "we shall overcome." >> pelley: and if you said to a
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young person "if you don't take anything else away from the march on washington, understand this --". >> understand that the struggle continues and the future is in your hands, in your heart, in your mind. >> pelley: one of dr. king's favorite quotes was this: "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." we saw fresh evidence of that today as we mark another 50 years of progress along that arc. and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. with thanks to the jones day law firm for this window on the capitol and for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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then the real work begins tt two hours until the end of an era. the last car are crossing the old bay bridge before it shuts down for good. then the real work begins to get the new eastern span of the bay bridge ready. i'm juliette goodrich. >> i'm allen martin on yerba buena island as we get ready for history tonight. we are high above the old span of the bay bridge is going to close in two hours. here you get an idea of the new span and how much lower it is compared to the old span and deconstruction on the old span will start to take place within days if not hours of when the bridge closes tonight. let's give you a live look at the toll plaza. traffic tonight is pretty light
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for 6:00 on wednesday. we are not seeing a normal evening commute. that's probably a very good thing. it's going to make it easier to close the bridge. drivers could get stuck and have a long way around. chp will begin closing the feeder ramp to the bridge anytime after 7:00. so really you have only an hour and they are warning commuters don't try to be the last car across. you will be stranded on the wrong side of the bay. >> allow yourself plenty of time. remain patient and calm. by all means, do not jump ahead of the patrol vehicle because that is a citeable infraction and we take that very seriously because that puts our lives at risk and the construction workers' and caltrans personnel at risk. >> reporter: the chp says it is just about time to go to your backup plan and really